Poni Hoax

Laurent Βardainne

Poni Hoax in the BSMNT with a brand new great album in their luggage! We really love this band for nearly a decade now, so we are more than happy and honoured to have them here for an interview.

It was in the mid 00's when this outstanding French band firstly drew attention with their first ever release, the Budapest EP. And it was one year later, in 2006, when they gave us their debut self-titled album, a finely crafted electro-rock mosaic, full of great tunes composed by the band's main keyboardist and composer Laurent Bardainne, sung by the mysterious and imposing voice of Nicolas Ker. Second keyboardist Arnaud Roulin, guitarist Nicolas Villebrun and drummer Vincent Taeger complemented the band creating an exploding music chemistry. Two years later (2008) they probably gave us their magnus opus so far, the incredible and stunning Images Of Sigrid, in which you can sense and experience 100% the band's "heroic disco pop", a term that the guys themselves use to describe their sound. Songs like Pretty Tall Girls and Antibodies blow your mind away instantly, but of course it's not just them, the album is one of the best releases of the past decade, a real masterpiece. After five years of absence, the band returned with their third effort entitled A State Of War and they once again didn't let us down. Perhaps a little bit more introverted comparing to its predecessors, but still explosive and engaging from its first note, established Poni Hoax as one of the most interesting and consistent bands of the decade.

After keeping us waiting for another four years, the French are back with their album No5, that is Tropical Suite, which was released on February 3rd. The epic opening with the astonishing All The Girls (one of the best songs of the year so far) preposses us to a great album and the expectations built are totally met, as the rest of the album is great and absolutely gripping. Exotic atmosphere, dark embraces light, melancholia and joy hand in hand in a bittersweet unforgettable 44-minute music trip... I believe that the band's sound blinks eye to psychedelia more than any other time before, and this is the main element that mostly differentiates Tropical Suite from its glorious predecessors. As I noted before, I regard Poni Hoax's second album 'Images of Sigrid' as their best so far, but it seems that the newly arrived 'Tropical Suite' will be a strong reason to turn the tables... As you can read below, Laurent Bardainne himself considers it as his favourite so far. Well, that's all from us, here's Laurent's interview for BSMNT. 

The Basement: Hi Poni Hoax! Welcome to The Basement. We would like to congratulate you on your great new album, Tropical Suite. Are you happy with the final outcome. How would you describe it to a potential listener?
We recorded our visions of what are the tropics. We went to Capetown (South Africa), Sao Paulo, Brazil and Pattaya Thailand. We wanted to record in hot weather... 

The Basement: Could you tell us some info and details about the writing process? What about sharing some inside stories regarding the making of the album? 
I write the music, Nicolas write the lyrics, at my home , in Paris. I do really ruff demos on my computer and we all arrange it in studios with all the band.

The Basement: Is it truth that the more time you spend in the studio, the less you tend to finish the job ? How much time you needed to finalise the album and why ?
We are slow, we took one year to post product the album, not because we had to replay stuff, but because we like to “live” with the songs and sometimes, after holidays for example, you open the session on your computer and you realize that the voice needs more reverb!

The Basement: You’re mostly an electro pop band but in your new album, we can both listen to Nick Cave and New Order similar vocals. How do you managed to combine those two different characteristics in the same LP ? I mean there are songs as “Belladonna” and “All the Girls” and songs like “The Wild”. 
We’re in 2017, and all this music of the 20th century is like a...”bag”. Each time you take a look in there and you pick what you prefer from it.

The Basemnet: Tropical Suite was recorded between different countries, Cape Town (South Africa), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Bangkok (Thailand), . How all those countries and cultures affected the final outcome ? You really needed this trip to make this album ? 
We needed fresh excitation to go back in studios, so why not sun, swimming pools and coktails? It’s more exciting than winter in suburbs of Paris! But didn’t have the time to go deep into the cultures of these coutries, but you have the smell, the people, the food etc. It’s really inspiring...

The Basement: We would like you to make a special reference to the unbelievable opening track All The Girls... How was it inspired and written?
I wanted to make lyrics, fun and tragic at the same time. Some kind of a “western kung fu movie”.


The Basement: Going back in time... How and when the band was firstly created? 
I wanted to make my rock band after the 11/09/01, after the Towers... I wanted to do something

The Basement: Which moments of all these years would you consider as the most important and crucial to the band’s progress? 
10 years ago we had kind of success with girls - ahahaha

The Basement: Looking back at your discography, we find 4 beautiful records. Could you describe each one of them using just a couple of phrases? Which one is your favourite?
First one (Poni Hoax): discovering synthetisor and computer, and the rapture.
Second one (Images Of Sigrid): 1 year in studio, big international tour and fun.
Third one (A State Of War): the sick one, recorded 3 times and problem of business.
Tropical suite: favourite, the wise one.

The Basement: On your self titled debut, you collaborated with the Greek artist Olga Kouklaki. How did that happen?
She was playing with “nouvelle vague”, Marc Colin the producer talked about her in a good way.

The Basement: Which bands or artists would you consider as your main influences?
The Doors and Daft Punk.

The Basement: Considering the new French music scene, it seems that there are loads of great new bands and great music. Would you agree with this? Which French bands or artists do you stick out?
No answer…

The Basement: Thank you Poni Hoax! At this point, we would like to you make a comment about the whole global crisis in terms of economy and terrorism. Your counrty has suffered so much over the last couple of years with so many lives taken... :(
I played a lot of times in Bataclan, we lost a friend in there on 13th November. There’s no day I don’t think about it...

Thank you Laurent, thank you Poni Hoax!

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